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Manufactured Worry

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It’s been about a month since my last proper post here, I’ve been busy building something that I hopefully will be able to get out for a beta by the end of the month.

I finally did scramble some time together to write this last week and put this together.

Manufactured Worry

Worry more often than not has only downside, only in very rare specific cases does worry create benefits and even in those cases I’d wager that alternatives to worry are better.

I’m not going to spend any time here pretending to know the causes of worry (better minds than mine have done more than I can on this), I’m also not going to define worry, I’m assuming that whatever definition of worry that someone has is robust and yet, flexible enough to accommodate this post.

This post is going to be about a specific brand of worry that I personally find silly, and the first and maybe second order effects of this brand of worry.

I honestly do think at this point in time, more than ever, we are in a struggle to define the subtleties of action and nature, this post is simply an extension of the modern urge to define.

The reason I call it a brand of worry is that it is so distinct and conspicuous that it really cannot be clubbed with any other type of worry.

I like to call it Manufactured Worry, another name I have for it is Dinner Worry.

In essence it is faux worry that serves a purpose but also leads to, I think, unwanted harm.

While it is true that it is better to be paranoid and think that hooves are Zebra’s rather than Horses, it is also true that Paranoia stems from Fear and worry not necessarily so, which is why I think this type of worry leads to unintended harm.

I prefer the term Manufactured Worry because it is not natural, it doesn’t occur unless someone plants a seed for it. I say not natural not because it isn’t something to be worried but, it probably isn’t something that I have to be worried about.

The simplest way I can describe this is to turn to news.

While I have my own views on news and why no one should bother with it. I’m going to ask you to turn on any news channel and look at what percentage of the news today is about these 2 topics : (politics, crimes)

I’d wager that 4/5 minutes of airtime will be about these topics (barring ads)

Now, ask yourself how many of the news stories that came under these 2 topics actually concern you. I think you’ll find that only a significant minority of these stories actually do concern you.

This is not to say that empathy/sympathy and being actively concerned about a story is wrong, rather, it is to say that, to wilfully do that and to act on it is fully right, its the midway concern that leads to Manufactured worry.

Manufactured worry serves a purpose, it helps in signalling virtue while not really doing much about it, it also helps people have somewhat interesting dinner conversations.

This is something I used to suffer from, still do I think, but, I used to too, but, I’ve become more aware of how often this happens when I meet people and the topics of conversation tends to be things that very often do not naturally affect us and as a result would not implicitly concern us. Yet, the worry would be audible, if superficial, concerns aired, topics broached and a greater understanding of a topic no one partaking in the conversation would do anything about would be reached.

Now, I would clarify that there is a difference between discussing news and discussing topics of learning.

News is in general current events with multiple points of view where the subject is a real world actor who has done something. In topics of learning however, the subject is the topic topic itself, and while it may be current, it may or may not be an event.

This type of worry is manufactured in us through the content that we consume, and while it may keep us informed, it also wants us to be worried about it, in an incredibly superficial way.

It’s easy to say right now that this is an agenda by organisations around the world, but, that would be silly of me and I’m no conspiracy theorist.

I think this is simply an effect a broader exposure to global content at all times. The result of which is the manufacturing of such worry in the people who consume such content by giving them just enough to be worried about but, not enough to do anything about it.

To summarise,

Manufactured Worry:

Overall, helps you have better dinner conversation, and not much else.
It’s a lot like what politicians do.
Maybe thats one way to think about it, Manufactured worry is making us all into politicians, which is bad.

So, in short, try to avoid Manufactured Worry, start by noticing if you suffer from it and let it go.

Do leave your comments below

Thank you for reading